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ISA statistics due out this Friday

  • Official ISA and Junior ISA and Help 2 Buy ISA stats for 2015/16
  • Number of accounts opened and £’s saved and invested
  • Total ISA assets expected to exceed £0.5 trillion for the first time (£483 billion August 2015)

On Friday 26th August HMRC release ISA statistics for the tax year 2015/16. You will be able to find them here.

These will detail the number of accounts and amounts subscribed during the 2015/16 tax year for both adult, Junior, and Help 2 Buy ISA. Higher allowances should mean record average subscription per account (£6,064 for 2014/15), and total ISA assets are expected to exceed £0.5 trillion for the first time.

What to watch out for:

Help 2 Buy ISA - over 500,000 accounts and counting. Clearly saving for property with the added bonus from the government is an incentive which works, though now it looks like many of these savers are going to feel disappointed by a rule which prohibits them from getting their government bonus until after they have completed their house purchase.

Cash ISA - subscriptions dominated the data for 2014/15 with around £20 billion more subscribed than the previous tax year, as a result of the change to allowance rules – it was the first tax year that you could subscribe the whole of an ISA allowance in cash.

Stocks and shares ISA - overall subscriptions are expected to be down, largely due to subdued investor confidence.

Junior ISA – expect an increase on the numbers of accounts to which savers have subscribed, up from 510,000 in 2014/15 and an increase in overall Junior ISA subscriptions, up from £582 million, of which two thirds was in cash in 2014/15.

Coming soon:

Innovative Finance ISA (launched April 2016) - though few products are available yet, with most providers still going through the authorisation and registration processes with the FCA and HMRC. Crowdstacker is one of the few open for IFISA business.

Lifetime ISA (launching April 2017) we are still waiting for the final rules. The popularity of H2B ISA is a good indicator of how positively the under 40s will take to Lifetime ISA, though clearly the recent problems encountered by Help to Buy ISA savers won’t exactly help to build confidence. However the plan for the Lifetime ISA is that bonuses will paid every year, although we believe it would be better if they were paid monthly, but in either case it’s better than being paid only after a property sale has completed.

Danny Cox, Chartered Financial Planner, Hargreaves Lansdown:

‘Savers and investors have had all but the kitchen sink thrown at them with volatile markets, plunging savings rates, tax changes and new ISA varieties to get their head around.

The recent Help to Buy ISA debacle will no doubt be disappointing for many of the savers who were hoping to use the government bonus to fund their deposit, but actually can’t get hold of it until after their house purchase has gone through.

However traditional cash and stocks and shares ISAs have been the saver and investor’s friend for the best part of two decades, and continue to be a stalwart of good, blue-chip financial planning.’


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